: Hey Lark!
: You give attitude - you're going to get attitude back. You don't expect us to believe an aspiring iconoclastic malcontent is above tweaking the establishment, do you? I bet the poor bloke is losing untold sleep to imagine the entire world wearing your (most likely red) cap after the revolution.
: Don't get mad - that was humor.
And a good one it was!
: I love the discussion of church and state because I believe it goes directly to the root of man's inner conflict. So many wish to dance around things and avoid the inevitable conclusion that church and state are inextricably linked. The problem is one of defining morality. Where does it come from? What is it based on?
Actually, I've been steering in that direction as well, but I make a BIG distinction between morality and organized religion. Now, forgive me for for the following questions: Are you an American? A member of a small Bible-based church? Does this church consider itself "non-denominational"? Does it have a pastor who is quite charismatic? Do the Sunday services consist of separate Bible study groups, followed by a service, during which the congregation sings songs, then the preacher reads from the Bible, displaying a lot of research with the Strong's Concordance and debunking evolutionary theory?
Is that what you mean when you say "the Church"?
The use of the concepts of right and wrong unquestionably forces one to an acknowledgement of the existence of his own beliefs of moral absolutes. The fact that such language exists and is commonly used indicates man wants resolute affirmation of his goals and efforts and a clear confirmation of his boundaries. I happen to find this one of the best logical indications of the existence of God that there is. How could a big bang produce beings that want to do right and who feel bad when they don't?
: Science has some explaining to do if it wishes to discredit belief.
Yes, and Romans 8:38-39
: Wanting to do right and organizing a society around principles is an amazing thing, really. The animal kingdom shows us only instinctual organization. Humans organize around a collective understanding of what is right and wrong. From organization to organization these ideas vary widely but there are basic values that all of them share. Murder, stealing, and lying for instance, is generally held as morally wrong regardless of ideology.
: But what is the basis for anyone to say anything is right or wrong? Is it popular opinion, personal opinion, or something that transcends man?
: Popular opinion changes dramatically from age to age. There is certainly no resolute, unshakable, absolute morality here - is there?
: Personal opinion is obviously nothing that should carry the imperative of a moral judgement.
: The basis for any moral absolute can only be God who exists beyond our reasoning, is unchanging, and imposes these values upon us. Although I believe in Him, I'm not specifically arguing that He exists here. I'm only suggesting that there is no moral absolute without Him. No real right and wrong can exist in a man centered world.
: What I do argue is that man has an innate belief in God and that belief, along with popular and personal opinion, has been codified into laws since day one. Separating the two realms of man centered moral opinion and God centered morality will be impossible unless man centered morality endeavors to stamp out belief in God. This, I perceive, is happening right now in our popular culture.
: The popular cry of separation of church and state is a specious, nay insidious argument that has as its goal the elimination of a belief in God. The U.S. Constitution does not prohibit the discussion of ecclesiastical matters in publicly funded discourses. Our constitution merely prohibits the formation of a state religion. It is painfully obvious to me what the founding fathers were worried about when they wrote the document. They didn't want this government to take an official position on the matter like Britain did. Freedom being venerated by every one of them (I am interested how this policy paralleled the biblical concept of free will), they codified the right of men to do as they see fit with respect to religious issues into law.
: But why stamp out belief in God? So man can be the arbiter of morality - and that's something that should be thought through by all who read this. Why does man, who intrinsically seeks to know the absolutes of good and evil wish also to arbitrate that standard?
: Does this prove the existence of a spiritual war, with God and Satan battling to influence the free will of man? Or does this prove that man is hopelessly trying to cope with his own intelligence?
: Stuart Gort